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FERRER, Petitioner,
G.R. No. 165300, April 23, 2010
Respondent Comandante alleged that sometime in 1998, she sought the help of petitioner with regard to the
mortgage with a bank of petitioners parents lot. As petitioner could not practically comply with her obligation,
petitioner and his wife, presented to Comandante sometime in May 1998 a document denominated as Waiver
of Hereditary Rights and Interests Over a Real Property (Still Undivided) pertaining to a waiver of her hereditary
share over her parents abovementioned property. Purportedly, the execution of said waiver was to secure
Comandantes loan with the couple which at that time had already ballooned to P600,000.00 due to interests.
Respondent then filed a complaint against the spouses, petitioners parents.

However, the spouses asserted that petitioner has no cause of action against them. They claimed that they do
not even know petitioner and that they did not execute any SPA in favor of Comandante authorizing her to
mortgage for the second time the subject property. They also contested the due execution of the SPA as it was
neither authenticated before the Philippine Consulate in the United States nor notarized before a notary public
in the State of New York where the Diazes have been residing for 16 years. They claimed that they do not owe
petitioner anything. The Diazes also pointed out that the complaint merely refers to Comandantes personal
obligation to petitioner with which they had nothing to do. They thus prayed that the complaint against them be

Whether future inheritance can be the subject of a contract of sale

No. Pursuant to the second paragraph of Article 1347 of the Civil Code, no contract may be entered into upon
a future inheritance except in cases expressly authorized by law. For the inheritance to be considered "future",
the succession must not have been opened at the time of the contract. A contract may be classified as a
contract upon future inheritance, prohibited under the second paragraph of Article 1347, where the following
requisites concur:

(1) That the succession has not yet been opened.

(2) That the object of the contract forms part of the inheritance; and,
(3) That the promissor has, with respect to the object, an expectancy of a right which is purely hereditary in

In this case, there is no question that at the time of execution of Comandantes Waiver of Hereditary Rights and
Interest Over a Real Property (Still Undivided), succession to either of her parents properties has not yet been
opened since both of them are still living. With respect to the other two requisites, both are likewise present

considering that the property subject matter of Comandantes waiver concededly forms part of the properties
that she expect to inherit from her parents upon their death and, such expectancy of a right, as shown by the
facts, is undoubtedly purely hereditary in nature.

From the foregoing, it is clear that Comandante and petitioner entered into a contract involving the formers
future inheritance as embodied in the Waiver of Hereditary Rights and Interest Over a Real Property (Still
Undivided) executed by her in petitioners favor.

From the foregoing, it is clear that Comandante and petitioner entered into a contract involving the formers
future inheritance as embodied in the Waiver of Hereditary Rights and Interest Over a Real Property (Still
Undivided) executed by her in petitioners favor.

We similarly declare in this case that the Waiver of Hereditary Rights and Interest Over a Real Property (Still
Undivided) executed by Comandante in favor of petitioner as not valid and that same cannot be the source of
any right or create any obligation between them for being violative of the second paragraph of Article 1347 of
the Civil Code.

ELOY IMPERIAL, petitioner,

and ESTHER VILLALON, respondents.
G.R. No. 112483, October 8, 1999
Leoncio Imperial was the registered owner of a 32,837-square meter parcel of land covered by Original
Certificate of Title No. 200, also known as Lot 45 of the Cadastral Survey of Albay. On July 7, 1951, Leoncio
sold the said lot for P1.00 to his acknowledged natural son, petitioner herein, who then acquired title over the
land and proceeded to subdivide it into several lots. Petitioner and private respondents admit that despite the
contract's designation as one of "Absolute Sale", the transaction was in fact a donation.

On July 28, 1953, or barely two years after the donation, Leoncio filed a complaint for annulment of the said
Deed of Absolute Sale, docketed as Civil Case No. 1177, in the then Court of First Instance of Albay, on the
ground that he was deceived by petitioner herein into signing the said document. The dispute, however, was
resolved through a compromise agreement, approved by the Court of First Instance of Albay on November 3,
1961 3, under which terms: (1) Leoncio recognized the legality and validity of the rights of petitioner to the land
donated; and (2) petitioner agreed to sell a designated 1,000-square meter portion of the donated land, and to
deposit the proceeds thereof in a bank, for the convenient disposal of Leoncio. In case of Leoncio's death, it
was agreed that the balance of the deposit will be withdrawn by petitioner to defray burial costs.

On January 8, 1962, and pending execution of the above judgment, Leoncio died, leaving only two heirs the
herein petitioner, who is his acknowledged natural son, and an adopted son, Victor Imperial. On March 8, 1962,
Victor was substituted in place of Leoncio in the above-mentioned case, and it was he who moved for execution
of judgment. On March 15, 1962, the motion for execution was duly granted.

Fifteen years thereafter, or on July 26, 1977, Victor died single and without issue, survived only by his natural
father, Ricardo Villalon, who was a lessee of a portion of the disputed land. Four years hence, or on September
25, 1981, Ricardo died, leaving as his only heirs his two children, Cesar and Teresa Villalon.

Five years thereafter, or sometime in 1986, Cesar and Teresa filed a complaint for annulment of the donation
with the Regional Trial Court of Legazpi City, docketed as Civil Case No. 7646. Petitioner moved to dismiss on
the ground of res judicata, by virtue of the compromise judgment rendered by the Court of First Instance of
Albay. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss, but the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's order and
remanded the case for further proceedings.

Whether there is a renunciation of legitime that may be presumed in the case.


None. No renunciation of legitime may be presumed from the foregoing acts. It must be remembered that at
the time of the substitution, the judgment approving the compromise agreement has already been rendered.
Victor merely participated in the execution of the compromise judgment. He was not a party to the compromise

More importantly, our law on succession does not countenance tacit repudiation of inheritance. Rather, it
requires an express act on the part of the heir. Thus, under Article 1051 of Civil Code:

The repudiation of an inheritance shall be made in a public or authentic instrument, or by petition presented to
the court having jurisdiction over the testamentary or intestate proceedings.

Thus, when Victor substituted Leoncio in Civil Case No. 1177 upon the latter's death, his act of moving for
execution of the compromise judgment cannot be considered an act of renunciation of his legitime. He was,
therefore, not precluded or estopped from subsequently seeking the reduction of the donation, under Article
772. Nor are Victor's heirs, upon his death, precluded from doing so, as their right to do so is expressly
recognized under Article 772, and also in Article 1053. If the heir should die without having accepted or
repudiated the inheritance, his right shall be transmitted to his heirs.

A final word on collation of donations. We observe that after finding the donation to be inofficious because
Leoncio had no other property at the time of his death, the RTC computed the legitime of Victor based on the
area of the donated property. Hence, in its dispositive portion, it awarded a portion of the property to private
respondents as Victor's legitime. This was upheld by the Court of Appeals.

Our rules of succession require that before any conclusion as to the legal share due to a compulsory heir may
be reached, the following steps must be taken: (1) the net estate of the decedent must be ascertained, by
deducting all the payable obligations and charges from the value of the property owned by the deceased at the
time of his death; (2) the value of all donations subject to collation would be added to it.

Thus, it is the value of the property at the time it is donated, and not the property itself, which is brought to
collation. Consequently, even when the donation is found inofficious and reduced to the extent that it impaired
Victor's legitime, private respondents will not receive a corresponding share in the property donated. Thus, in
this case where the collatable property is an immovable, what may be received is: (1) an equivalent, as much
as possible, in property of the same nature, class and quality; (2) if such is impracticable, the equivalent value
of the impaired legitime in cash or marketable securities; or (3) in the absence of cash or securities in the
estate, so much of such other property as may be necessary, to be sold in public auction.

LOURDES L. DOROTHEO, petitioner,

COURT OF APPEALS, NILDA D. QUINTANA, for Herself and as Attorney-in-Fact of VICENTE DOROTHEO
and JOSE DOROTHEO, respondents.
G.R. No. 108581 December 8, 1999
Private respondents were the legitimate children of Alejandro Dorotheo and Aniceta Reyes. The latter died in
1969 without her estate being settled. Alejandro died thereafter. Sometime in 1977, after Alejandro's death,
petitioner, who claims to have taken care of Alejandro before he died, filed a special proceeding for the probate
of the latter's last will and testament. In 1981, the court issued an order admitting Alejandro's will to probate.
Private respondents did not appeal from said order. In 1983, they filed a "Motion To Declare The Will
Intrinsically Void." The trial court granted the motion and issued an order.
Petitioner moved for reconsideration arguing that she is entitled to some compensation since she took care of
Alejandro prior to his death although she admitted that they were not married to each other. Upon denial of her
motion for reconsideration, petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals, but the same was dismissed for failure
to file appellant's brief within the extended period granted. This dismissal became final and executory on
February 3, 1989 and a corresponding entry of judgment was forthwith issued by the Court of Appeals on May
16, 1989.
An Order was issued on November 29, 1990 setting aside the final and executory Order dated January 30,
1986, as well as the Order directing the issuance of the writ of execution, on the ground that the order was
merely "interlocutory", hence not final in character. The court added that the dispositive portion of the said
Order even directs the distribution of the estate of the deceased spouses. Private respondents filed a motion for
reconsideration which was denied in an Order dated February 1, 1991.
May a last will and testament admitted to probate but declared intrinsically void in an order that has become
final and executory still be given effect?
No. A final and executory decision or order can no longer be disturbed or reopened no matter how erroneous it
may be. It should be noted that probate proceedings deals generally with the extrinsic validity of the will sought
to be probated, particularly on three aspects:
- whether the will submitted is indeed, the decedent's last will and testament;
- compliance with the prescribed formalities for the execution of wills;
- the testamentary capacity of the testator; and
- the due execution of the last will and testament.
Under the Civil Code, due execution includes a determination of whether the testator was of sound and
disposing mind at the time of its execution, that he had freely executed the will and was not acting under
duress, fraud, menace or undue influence and that the will is genuine and not a forgery, that he was of the
proper testamentary age and that he is a person not expressly prohibited by law from making a will.
The intrinsic validity is another matter and questions regarding the same may still be raised even after the will
has been authenticated. Thus, it does not necessarily follow that an extrinsically valid last will and testament is
always intrinsically valid. The only instance where a party interested in a probate proceeding may have a final
liquidation set aside is when he is left out by reason of circumstances beyond his control or through mistake or
inadvertence not imputable to negligence, which circumstances do not concur herein.

Petitioner was privy to the suit calling for the declaration of the intrinsic invalidity of the will, as she precisely
appealed from an unfavorable order therefrom. Although the final and executory Order of January 30, 1986
wherein private respondents were declared as the only heirs do not bind those who are not parties thereto such
as the alleged illegitimate son of the testator, the same constitutes res judicata with respect to those who were
parties to the probate proceedings. Petitioner cannot again raise those matters anew for relitigation otherwise
that would amount to forum-shopping. It should be remembered that forum shopping also occurs when the
same issue had already been resolved adversely by some other court. It is clear from the executory order that
the estates of Alejandro and his spouse should be distributed according to the laws of intestate succession.
It can be clearly inferred from Article 960 of the Civil Code, on the law of successional rights that testacy is
preferred to intestacy. But before there could be testate distribution, the will must pass the scrutinizing test and
safeguards provided by law considering that the deceased testator is no longer available to prove the
voluntariness of his actions, aside from the fact that the transfer of the estate is usually onerous in nature and
that no one is presumed to give Nemo praesumitur donare. No intestate distribution of the estate can be
done until and unless the will had failed to pass both its extrinsic and intrinsic validity. If the will is extrinsically
void, the rules of intestacy apply regardless of the intrinsic validity thereof. If it is extrinsically valid, the next test
is to determine its intrinsic validity that is whether the provisions of the will are valid according to the laws of
succession. In this case, the court had ruled that the will of Alejandro was extrinsically valid but the intrinsic
provisions thereof were void. Thus, the rules of intestacy apply as correctly held by the trial court.


G.R. No. 138774 March 8, 2001
Respondent Aida Francisco-Alfonso (hereafter Aida) is the only daughter of spouses Gregorio Francisco and
Cirila de la Cruz, who are now both deceased.
Petitioners, on the other hand, are daughters of the late Gregorio Francisco with his common law wife Julia
Mendoza, with whom he begot seven (7) children.
Gregorio Francisco (hereafter Gregorio) owned two parcels of residential land, situated in Barangay Lolomboy,
Bocaue, Bulacan, covered by TCT Nos. T-32740 and T-117160. When Gregorio was confined in a hospital in
1990, he confided to his daughter Aida that the certificates of title of his property were in the possession of
Regina Francisco and Zenaida Pascual.
After Gregorio died on July 20, 1990,3 Aida inquired about the certificates of title from her half sisters. They
informed her that Gregorio had sold the land to them on August 15, 1983. After verification, Aida learned that
there was indeed a deed of absolute sale in favor of Regina Francisco and Zenaida Pascual. Thus, on August
15, 1983, Gregorio executed a "Kasulatan sa Ganap na Bilihan, whereby for P25,000.00, he sold the two
parcels of land to Regina Francisco and Zenaida Pascual. By virtue of the sale, the Register of Deeds of
Bulacan issued TCT No. T-59.585 to Regina Francisco and TCT T-59.586 to Zenaida Pascual.4
On April 1, 1991, Aida filed with the Regional Trial Court, Bulacan a complaint against petitioners for annulment
of sale with damages.5 She alleged that the signature of her late father, Gregorio Francisco, on the Kasulatan
sa Ganap na Bilihan dated August 15, 1983, was a forgery.
In their joint answer to the complaint, petitioners denied the alleged forgery or simulation of the deed of sale.
After due proceedings, on July 21, 1994, the trial court rendered a decision dismissing the complaint.
The Court of Appeals promulgated its decision reversing that of the trial court.
May a legitimate daughter be deprived of her share in the estate of her deceased father by a simulated
contract transferring the property of her father to his illegitimate children?
No. The kasulatan was simulated. There was no consideration for the contract of sale. Felicitas de la Cruz, a
family friend of the Franciscos, testified that Zenaida Pascual and Regina Francisco did not have any source of
income in 1983, when they bought the property, until the time when Felicitas testified in 1991.
As proof of income, however, Zenaida Pascual testified that she was engaged in operating a canteen, working
as cashier in Mayon Night Club as well as buying and selling RTW (Ready to Wear) items in August of 1983
and prior thereto.
Zenaida alleged that she paid her father the amount of P10,000.00. She did not withdraw money from her bank
account at the Rural Bank of Meycauayan, Bulacan, to pay for the property. She had personal savings other
than those deposited in the bank. Her gross earnings from the RTW for three years was P9,000.00, and she
earned P50.00 a night at the club.
Regina Francisco, on the other hand, was a market vendor, selling nilugaw, earning a net income of P300.00 a
day in 1983. She bought the property from the deceased for P15,000.00. She had no other source of income.

We find it incredible that engaging in buy and sell could raise the amount of P10,000.00, or that earnings in
selling goto could save enough to pay P15,000.00, in cash for the land.
The testimonies of petitioners were incredible considering their inconsistent statements as to whether there was
consideration for the sale and also as to whether the property was bought below or above its supposed market
value. They could not even present a single witness to the kasulatan that would prove receipt of the purchase
Since there was no cause or consideration for the sale, the same was a simulation and hence, null and void.
Even if the kasulatan was not simulated, it still violated the Civil Code provisions insofar as the transaction
affected respondent's legitime. The sale was executed in 1983, when the applicable law was the Civil Code, not
the Family Code.
Obviously, the sale was Gregorio's way to transfer the property to his illegitimate daughters at the expense of
his legitimate daughter. The sale was executed to prevent respondent Alfonso from claiming her legitime and
rightful share in said property. Before his death, Gregorio had a change of heart and informed his daughter
about the titles to the property.
According to Article 888, Civil Code:
"The legitime of legitimate children and descendants consists of one-half of the hereditary estate of the father
and of the mother.
"The latter may freely dispose of the remaining half subject to the rights of illegitimate children and of the
surviving spouse as hereinafter provided."
Gregorio Francisco did not own any other property. If indeed the parcels of land involved were the only property
left by their father, the sale in fact would deprive respondent of her share in her father's estate. By law, she is
entitled to half of the estate of her father as his only legitimate child.
The legal heirs of the late Gregorio Francisco must be determined in proper testate or intestate proceedings for
settlement of the estate. His compulsory heir cannot be deprived of her share in the estate save by
disinheritance as prescribed by law.

oppositors- appellants.
G.R. No. L-27952 February 15, 1982
The task is not trouble-free because the widow Marcelle is a French who lives in Paris, while the companion
Wanda is an Austrian who lives in Spain. Moreover, the testator provided for substitutions.
Jose Eugenio Ramirez, a Filipino national, died in Spain on December 11, 1964, with only his widow as
compulsory heir. His will was admitted to probate by the Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch X, on July 27,
1965. Maria Luisa Palacios was appointed administratrix of the estate. In due time she submitted an inventory
of the estate as follows:
On June 23, 1966, the administratrix submitted a project of partition as follows: the property of the deceased is
to be divided into two parts. One part shall go to the widow 'en pleno dominio" in satisfaction of her legitime; the
other part or "free portion" shall go to Jorge and Roberto Ramirez "en nuda propriedad." Furthermore, one third
(1/3) of the free portion is charged with the widow's usufruct and the remaining two-thirds (2/3) with a usufruct in
favor of Wanda.
Jorge and Roberto opposed the project of partition on the grounds: (a) that the provisions for vulgar substitution
in favor of Wanda de Wrobleski with respect to the widow's usufruct and in favor of Juan Pablo Jankowski and
Horacio V. Ramirez, with respect to Wanda's usufruct are invalid because the first heirs Marcelle and Wanda)
survived the testator; (b) that the provisions for fideicommissary substitutions are also invalid because the first
heirs are not related to the second heirs or substitutes within the first degree, as provided in Article 863 of the
Civil Code; (c) that the grant of a usufruct over real property in the Philippines in favor of Wanda Wrobleski, who
is an alien, violates Section 5, Article III of the Philippine Constitution; and that (d) the proposed partition of the
testator's interest in the Santa Cruz (Escolta) Building between the widow Marcelle and the appellants, violates
the testator's express win to give this property to them Nonetheless, the lower court approved the project of
partition in its order dated May 3, 1967. It is this order which Jorge and Roberto have appealed to this Court.
Whether or not an impairment of legitime occurred in the instant case.
Yes. The appellant's do not question the legality of giving Marcelle one-half of the estate in full ownership. They
admit that the testator's dispositions impaired his widow's legitime. Indeed, under Art. 900 of the Civil Code "If
the only survivor is the widow or widower, she or he shall be entitled to one-half of the hereditary estate." And
since Marcelle alone survived the deceased, she is entitled to one-half of his estate over which he could impose
no burden, encumbrance, condition or substitution of any kind whatsoever. (Art. 904, par. 2, Civil Code.)
It is the one-third usufruct over the free portion which the appellants question and justifiably so. It appears that
the court a quo approved the usufruct in favor of Marcelle because the testament provides for a usufruct in her
favor of one-third of the estate. The court a quo erred for Marcelle who is entitled to one-half of the estate "en
pleno dominio" as her legitime and which is more than what she is given under the will is not entitled to have
additional share in the estate. To give Marcelle more than her legitime will run counter to the testator's intention
for as stated above his dispositions even impaired her legitime and tended to favor Wanda.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the estate of Jose Eugenio Ramirez is hereby ordered distributed as follows:

One-half (1/2) thereof to his widow as her legitime;

One-half (1/2) thereof which is the free portion to Roberto and Jorge Ramirez in naked ownership and the
usufruct to Wanda de Wrobleski with a simple substitution in favor of Juan Pablo Jankowski and Horace V.
The distribution herein ordered supersedes that of the court a quo. No special pronouncement as to costs.

MONICO CONCEPCION, plaintiff-appellant,

PACIENCIA STA. ANA, defendant-appellee.
G.R. No. L-2277

December 29, 1950

An action was instituted by Monico Concepcion vs. Paciencia Sta. Ana to annul the sale made by the late
Perpetua Concepcion, sister of the plaintiff, of three parcels of land with the improvements thereon to the
defendant. The complaint alleges, among others, that the plaintiff is the only surviving legitimate brother of
Perpetua Concepcion, who died on or about January 28, 1948, without issue and without leaving any will; that
in her life time or on about June 29, 1945, said Perpetua Concepcion, in connivance with the defendant and
with intent to defraud the plaintiff, sold and conveyed three parcels of land for a false and fictitious consideration
to the defendant, who secured transfer certificates of title of said lands issued under her name; and that the
defendant has been in possession of the properties sold since the death of Perpetua Concepcion, thereby
causing damages to the plaintiff in the amount of not less than two hundred (P200) pesos.
Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that it does not state a cause of action,
because the deceased being the owner of the properties sold had the right to enjoy and dispose of them
without further limitation than those established by law.
The Court of First Instance of Manila granted the motion to dismiss and dismissed the complaint on the ground
that "the plaintiff is not a party to the deed of sale executed by Perpetua Concepcion in favor of the defendant.
Even in the assumption that the consideration of the contract is fictitious, the plaintiff has no right of action
against the defendant. Under article 1302 of the Civil Code, "the action to annul a contract may be brought by
any person principally or subsidiarily bound thereby." The plaintiff is not bound by the deed of sale executed by
the deceased in favor of the defendant. He has no obligation under the deed."
Can the plaintiff as heir of the deceased contracting party can bring action to annul the contract of sale under
No. The plaintiff's contention that a simulated or fictitious contract of sale with a false consideration is null and
voidper se, or is a contrato inexistente, not merely a contrato nulo, is not correct. Article 1276 of the Civil Code
expressly provides that "the statement of a false consideration in contract shall be ground for annulment," and
article 1301 of the same code provided for the limitation of actions for annulment of a contract.
As to the appellant's contention that under the law, action to annul a contract entered into with all the requisites
mentioned in article 1261 whenever they are tainted with the vice which invalidate them in accordance with law,
may be brought, not only by any person principally bound or who made them, but also by his heir to whom the
right and obligation arising from the contract are transmitted. Hence if no such rights, actions or obligations
have been transmitted to the heir, the latter can not bring an action to annul the contract in representation of the
contracting party who made it. In Wolfson vs. Estate of Martinez, 20 Phil., 340, this Supreme Court quoted with
approval the judgment of the Supreme Court of Spain of April 18, 1901, in which it was held that "he who is not
a party to a contract, or an assignee thereunder, or does not represent those who took part therein, has under
articles 1257 and 1302 of the Civil Code no legal capacity to challenge the validity of such contract." And in
Irlanda vs. Pitargue (22 Phil. 383) we held that "the testamentary or legal heir continues in law as the juridical
personality of his predecessor in interest, who transmit to him from the moment of his death such of his rights,
actions and obligations as are not extinguished thereby."

The question to be resolved is, therefore, whether the deceased Perpetua Concepcion has transmitted to the
plaintiff any right arising from the contract under consideration in order that he can bring an action to annul the
sale voluntarily made by her to the defendant with a false consideration.
We are of the opinion and so hold, that the late Perpetua Concepcion has not transmitted to the plaintiff any
right arising from the contract of conveyance or sale of her lands to the defendant, and therefore the plaintiff
cannot file an action to annul such contract as representative of the deceased.
Even a forced heir of the deceased Perpetua Concepcion would have no right to institute as representative of
the decedent, an action of nullity of a contract made by the decedent to defraud his creditors, because such a
contract being considered illicit under article 1306 of the Civil Code, Perpetua Concepcion herself had no right
of action to annul it and recover the properties she had conveyed to the defendant. But the forced heir could in
such case bring an action to rescind the contract under article 1291 (3) of the Civil Code.
The reason why a forced heir has the right to institute an action of rescission is that the right to the legitime is
similar to a credit of a creditor. As the same Spanish author correctly states in commenting on article 1291 of
the Civil Code: "The rights of a forced heir to the legitime are undoubtedly similar to a credit of a creditor in so
far as the rights to the legitime may be defeated by fraudulent contracts, and are superior to the will of those
bound to respect them.
Therefore, as the plaintiff in the present case, not being a forced heir of the late Perpetua Concepcion, can not
institute an action to annul under article 1300 or to rescind under article 1291 (3) of the Civil Code the contract
under consideration entered into by the deceased with the defendant.
In view of the foregoing, the judgment of the lower court is affirmed with costs against the appellant. So

SPOUSES NICANOR TUMBOKON (deceased), substituted by: ROSARIO SESPEE and their Children,
TUMBOKON, and NINFA T. SOLIDUM, Petitioners,
G.R. No. 153736 August 12, 2010
Under contention herein are the ownership and possession of that parcel of land with an area of 12,480 square
meters, more or less, situated in Barangay Buenavista (formerly Barangay San Isidro, in the Municipality of
Ibajay, Province of Aklan. The land planted to rice, corn, and coconuts was originally owned by the late
Alejandra Sespee (Alejandra), who had had two marriages. The first marriage was to Gaudencio Franco, by
whom she bore Ciriaca Franco, whose husband was Victor Miralles. The second marriage was to Jose Garcia,
by whom she bore respondent Apolonia Garcia (Apolonia), who married Primo Legaspi. Alejandra died without
a will in 1935, and was survived by Apolonia and Crisanto Miralles, the son of Ciriaca (who had predeceased
Alejandra in 1924) and Victor Miralles; hence, Crisanto Miralles was Alejandras grandson.
The ownership and possession of the parcel of land became controversial after Spouses Nicanor Tumbokon
and Rosario Sespee (petitioners) asserted their right in it by virtue of their purchase of it from Cresenciana
Inog, who had supposedly acquired it by purchase from Victor Miralles. The tug-of-war over the property
between the petitioners and the respondents first led to the commencement of a criminal case. The Spouses
Nicanor Tumbokon and Rosario Sespee filed a criminal complaint for qualified theft against respondents
Apolonia and Paulina S. Magtanum and others not parties herein, namely: Rosendo Magtanum, Antonio
Magtanum, Ulpiano Mangilaya, charging them with stealing coconut fruits from the land subject of the present
After trial, the CFI found the respondents and their co-accused guilty as charged in its decision dated June 10,
1972. The respondents appealed (C.A.-G.R. No. 13830-CR), but the CA affirmed their conviction on February
19, 1975, whereby the CA rejected respondent Apolonias defense of ownership of the land.
On February 17, 1994, the RTC, which meanwhile replaced the CFI following the implementation of the
Judiciary Reorganization Act, rendered its decision in favor of the petitioners herein
On May 15, 2001, the CA reversed the decision of the RTC and dismissed the complaint
Whether or not Victor is entitled to the property.
No. A decedents compulsory heirs in whose favor the law reserves a part of the decedents estate are
exclusively the persons enumerated in Article 887, Civil Code, viz:
Article 887. The following are compulsory heirs:
(1) Legitimate children and descendants, with respect to their legitimate parents and ascendants;
(2) In default of the foregoing, legitimate parents and ascendants, with respect to their legitimate children and
(3) The widow or widower;
(4) Acknowledged natural children, and natural children by legal fiction;

(5) Other illegitimate children referred to in article 287.

Compulsory heirs mentioned in Nos. 3, 4, and 5 are not excluded by those in Nos. 1 and 2; neither do they
exclude one another.
In all cases of illegitimate children, their filiation must be duly proved.
The father or mother of illegitimate children of the three classes mentioned, shall inherit from them in the
manner and to the extent established by this Code. (807a)
Only two forced heirs survived Alejandra upon her death, namely: respondent Apolonia, her daughter, and
Crisanto Miralles, her grandson. The latter succeeded Alejandra by right of representation because his mother,
Ciriaca, had predeceased Alejandra. Representation is a right created by fiction of law, by virtue of which the
representative is raised to the place and the degree of the person represented, and acquires the rights which
the latter would have if she were living or if she could have inherited. Herein, the representative (Crisanto
Miralles) was called to the succession by law and not by the person represented (Ciriaca); he thus succeeded
Alejandra, not Ciriaca.
The foregoing undeniable facts rendered the hearsay testimony of Nicanor Tumbokon to the effect that he had
been informed that Victor Miralles had "bec[o]me automatically the heir" of Alejandra "after the death of his
wife," the wife being "the only daughter" and he "the only son-in-law" a plain irrelevancy.
Thirdly, Victor Miralles supposed acquisition of the land by oral sale from Alejandra had no competent factual
support in the records. For one, the oral sale was incompatible with the petitioners anchor claim that he had
acquired the land by inheritance from Alejandra. Also, the evidence that the petitioners adduced on the oral sale
was insufficient and incredible, warranting the CAs rejection of the oral sale under the following terms:
This also damages and puts to serious doubt their other and contradictory claim that Victor Miralles instead
bought the lot from Alejandra Sespee. This supposed sale was oral, one that can of course be facilely feigned.
And it is likely to be so for the claim is sweeping, vacuous and devoid of the standard particulars like what was
the price, when and where was the sale made, who were present, or who knew of it. The record is bereft too of
documentary proof that Victor Miralles exercised the rights and performed the obligations of an owner for no tax
declarations nor tax receipt has been submitted or even adverted to.
With Victor Miralles lacking any just and legal right in the land, except as an heir of Ciriaca, the transfer of the
land from him to Cresenciana Inog was ineffectual. As a consequence, Cresenciana Inog did not legally acquire
the land, and, in turn, did not validly transfer it to the petitioners.

Lauro G. VIZCONDE, petitioner

and Ramon G. NICOLAS, respondents.
G.R. No. 118449, February 11, 1998
Spouses Lauro Vizconde and Estrellita Nicolas had two children namely, Carmela and Jennifer. Estrellita is one
of the five children of spouses Rafael Nicolas and Salud Gonzales. The private respondent herein is a brother
of Estrellita.
Estrellita purchased from Rafael a parcel of land which was afterwards sold to Amelia Lim and Natividad Chiu.
Estrellita purchased again from Premier Homes a parcel of land with improvements. Thereafter, an unfortunate
event happened when Estrellita and her daughters were killed. Consequently, Lauro entered into an ExtraJudicial Settlement of the Estate of Deceased Estrellita Nicolas-Vizconde with Waiver of Shares with his wifes
parents. The settlement gave fifty percent (50%) of the total amount of the bank deposits of Estrellita and her
daughters to Rafael and the other fifty percent (50%) to Lauro. The car and the property were given to Lauro
and to Estrellitas parents but the latter waived all their claims, rights, ownership and participation as heirs in the
said properties. Not long after, Rafael died and to settle his estate, Teresita (one of his children) instituted an
instestate estate proceeding and prayed to be appointed Special Administratix of Rafaels estate. Further, she
sought to be appointed as Salud and Ricardos guardian of which Ramon filed an opposition. Private
respondent filed another opposition alleging that Estrellita was given the Valuenzela property and subsequently,
he filed his own petition averring that the legitime of Salud and Ricardo should come from the collation of all the
properties distributed to his children by Rafael during his lifetime. Ramon stated that Lauro is one of Rafaels
children by right of representation as the widower of the deceased legitimate daughter, Estrellita. In a
consolidated order, RTC appointed Ramon as the guardian of Salud and Ricardo while Teresita was appointed
as the Special Administratix of Rafaels estate however, Ramon was afterwards removed as guardian for selling
his wards property without the courts knowledge and permission.
RTC then ordered Lauro to file any appropriate petition or motion related to the pending petition insofar as the
case is concerned and to file any opposition to any pending motion that has been filed by Ramon and Teresita.
Lauro fied a Manifestation stressing that he was neither a compulsory heir nor an intestate heir of Rafael and
he has no interest to participate in the proceedings. However, despite this manifestation, Ramon moved to
include Lauro in the intestate estate proceeding and asked that the Paraaque property, the car and the
balance of the proceeds of the sale of the Valenzuela property be collated, which the trial court granted. Lauro
filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied. Lauro filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition before the
Court of Appeals but the same was denied. Hence, this action.
Whether or not the Paraaque property is subject to collation.
Basic principles of collation:
Article 1061. Every compulsory heir, who succeeds with other compulsory heirs, must bring into the mass of the
estate any property or right which he may have received from the decedent, during the lifetime of the latter, by
way of donation, or any other gratuitous title, in order that it may be computed in the determination of the
legitime of each heir, and in the account of the partition.
Collation is the act by virtue of which descendants or other forced heirs who intervene in the division of the
inheritance of an ascendant bring into the common mass the property which they received from him, so that the
division may be made according to law and the will of the testator. Collation is only required of compulsory heirs

succeeding with other compulsory heirs and involves property or rights received by donation or gratuitous title
during the lifetime of the decedent.
The attendant facts herein do not make a case of collation: 1) The probate court erred in ordering the inclusion
of petitioner in the intestate estate proceeding. Petitioner, a son-in-law of Rafael, is not one of the latters
compulsory heirs; 2) As a rule, the probate court may pass upon and determine the title or ownership of a
property which may or may not be included in the estate proceedings. Such determination is provisional in
character and is subject to final decision in a separate action to resolve title. In the case at bench, however, we
note that the probate court went beyond the scope of its jurisdiction when it proceeded to determine the validity
of the sale of the Valenzuela property between Rafael and Estrellita and ruled that the transfer between the
concerned parties was gratuitous. The interpretation of the deed and the true intent of the contracting parties,
as well as the presence or absence of consideration, are matters outside the probate courts jurisdiction; 3) The
order of the probate court subjecting the Paraaque property to collation is premature. Records indicate that the
intestate estate proceedings is still in its initiatory stage; 4) Even on the assumption that collation is appropriate
in this case, the probate court, nonetheless, made a reversible error in ordering collation of the Paraaque
property. We note that what was transferred to Estrellita by way of deed of sale, is the Valenzuela property. The
Paraaque property which Estrellita acquired by using the proceeds of the sale of the Valenzuela property does
not become collationable simply by reason thereof. Indeed, collation of the Paraaque property has no statutory
basis; and 5) it is futile for the probate court to ascertain whether or not Valenzuela property may be brought to
collation. It should be stressed that Estrellita died ahead of Rafael.

G.R. No. 123450. August 31, 2005

Gerardo and Ma. Theresa were married on December 29, 1989. After their marriage, they lived with Ma.
Theresas parents in Fairview, Quezon City. Almost a year later, on December 8, 1990, Ma. Theresa gave birth
to Jose Gerardo.
Gerardo and Ma. Theresas relationship turned out to be short-lived, however. On December 19, 1991, Gerardo
filed a petition to have his marriage to Ma. Theresa annulled on the ground of bigamy. He alleged that nine
years before he married Ma. Theresa on December 10, 1980, she had married one Mario Gopiao, which
marriage was never annulled. Gerardo also found out that Mario was still alive and was residing in Loyola
Heights, Quezon City.
Ma. Theresa did not deny marrying Mario when she was twenty years old. She, however, averred that the
marriage was a sham and that she never lived with Mario at all.
Whether or not Jose Gerado is a legitimate child of Maria Theresa and Mario Gopiao.
Yes. It is, therefore, undeniable established by the evidence in this case that the appellant Ma. Theresa was
married to Mario Gopiao, and that she had never entered into a lawful marriage with the appellee Gerardo since
the so-called marriage with the latter was void ab initio. It was Gerardo himself who had established these
facts. In other words, Ma. Theresa was legitimately married to Mario Gopiao when the child Jose Gerardo was
born on December 8, 1990. Therefore, the child Jose Gerardo under the law is the legitimate child of the
legal and subsisting marriage between Ma. Theresa and Mario Gopiao; he cannot be deemed to be the
illegitimate child of the void and non-existent marriage between Ma. Theresa and Gerardo, but is said by the
law to be the child of the legitimate and existing marriage between Ma. Theresa and Mario Gopiao (Art. 164,
Family Code). Consequently, she is right in firmly saying that Gerardo can claim neither custody nor visitorial
rights over the child Jose Gerardo. Further, Gerardo cannot impose his name upon the child. Not only is it
without legal basis (even supposing the child to be his illegitimate child Art. 146, The Family Code); it would
tend to destroy the existing marriage between Ma. Theresa and Gopiao, would prevent any possible
rapproachment between the married couple, and would mean a judicial seal upon an illegitimate relationship.
Article 167 of the Family Code mandates:
The child shall be considered legitimate although the mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may
have been sentenced as an adulteress.
Thus, implicit from the above provision is the fact that a minor cannot be deprived of his/her legitimate status on
the bare declaration of the mother and/or even much less, the supposed father. In fine, the law and only the
law determines who are the legitimate or illegitimate children for ones legitimacy or illegitimacy cannot ever be
compromised. Not even the birth certificate of the minor can change his status for the information contained
therein are merely supplied by the mother and/or the supposed father. It should be what the law says and not
what a parent says it is.
Article 164 of the Family Code is clear. A child who is conceived or born during the marriage of his parents is

The law requires that every reasonable presumption be made in favor of legitimacy. We explained the rationale
of this rule in the recent case of Cabatania v. Court of Appeals:
The presumption of legitimacy does not only flow out of a declaration in the statute but is based on the broad
principles of natural justice and the supposed virtue of the mother. It is grounded on the policy to protect the
innocent offspring from the odium of illegitimacy.
Having only his best interests in mind, the Court uphold the presumption of his legitimacy.
As a legitimate child, Jose Gerardo shall have the right to bear the surnames of his father Mario and mother
Ma. Theresa, in conformity with the provisions of the Civil Code on surnames. A persons surname or family
name identifies the family to which he belongs and is passed on from parent to child. Hence, Gerardo cannot
impose his surname on Jose Gerardo who is, in the eyes of the law, not related to him in any way.

CECILIA RIVERA, petitioners,
G.R. No. 141501

July 21, 2006

Petitioners are allegedly the half-brothers (Elino and Dominador), the half-sister-in-law (Soledad), and the
children of a half-brother (Teofila and Cecilia) of the deceased Pacita Gonzales (hereinafter Gonzales).
Respondents Catalino, Lucia, Purificacion and Melchor, all surnamed Villanueva, and Arnaldo V. Avendano are
allegedly the siblings, full and half-blood of Romualdo Villanueva (hereinafter Villanueva). They are
denominated as the heirs of Villanueva and are represented by Melchor. They were allowed to substitute for
Villanueva upon his death. The remaining respondents, Angelina Villanueva (hereinafter respondent Angelina)
and husband Victoriano de Luna, are allegedly the daughter and the son-in-law, respectively, of the late
From 1927 until her death in 1980, Gonzales cohabited with Villanueva without the benefit of marriage because
the latter was married to one Amanda Musngi who died on April 20, 1963. In the course of their cohabitation,
they acquired several properties including the properties contested in this case.
Gonzales died on July 3, 1980 without leaving a will.
On August 8, 1980, Villanueva and respondent Angelina executed a deed of extrajudicial partition with sale, that
is, an extrajudicial settlement of Gonzales' estate comprising a number of the aforementioned properties. In this
document, Villanueva, for the amount of P30,000, conveyed his interests in the estate to Angelina.
Petitioners (Gonzales' half-brothers, etc.) filed a case for partition of Gonzales' estate and annulment of titles
and damages, with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Santo Domingo, Nueva Ecija, Branch 37. It was docketed
as Civil Case No. SD-857 (SD-857). In dismissing the complaint, the RTC made two findings: (1) Gonzales was
never married to Villanueva and (2) respondent Angelina was her illegitimate child by Villanueva and therefore
her sole heir, to the exclusion of petitioners.

Whether or not Angelina was Gonzales illegitimate daughter
No. Both the trial court and the CA ruled that respondent Angelina was the illegitimate daughter of the
decedent, based solely on her birth certificate. According to the assailed decision, "the birth certificate clearly
discloses that Pacita Gonzales was the mother of Angelina Villanueva while municipal treasurer Romualdo
Villanueva was denominated therein as her father." The CA found this to be adequate proof that respondent
Angelina was Gonzales' illegitimate child.
However, a closer examination of the birth certificate reveals that respondent Angelina was listed as "adopted"
by both Villanueva and Gonzales.
Furthermore, it is well-settled that a record of birth is merely a prima facie evidence of the facts contained
therein. It is not conclusive evidence of the truthfulness of the statements made there by the interested parties.
Following the logic of Benitez, respondent Angelina and her co-defendants in SD-857 should have adduced
evidence of her adoption, in view of the contents of her birth certificate. The records, however, are bereft of any
such evidence.

Under the circumstances, the Court hold that it was not sufficiently established that respondent Angelina was
Gonzales' biological daughter, nor even her adopted daughter. Thus, she cannot inherit from Gonzales. Since
she could not have validly participated in Gonzales' estate, the extrajudicial partition which she executed with
Villanueva on August 8, 1980 was invalid.
Because the cohabitation of Villanueva and Gonzales from 1927 to 1963 was adulterous, their property
relations during those 36 years were not governed by Article 144 of the Civil Code which applies only if the
couple living together is not in any way incapacitated from getting married. According to the doctrine laid down
by Juaniza v. Jose, no co-ownership exists between parties to an adulterous relationship. In Agapay v. Palang,
we expounded on this doctrine by declaring that in such a relationship, it is necessary for each of the partners
to prove his or her actual contribution to the acquisition of property in order to be able to lay claim to any portion
of it. Presumptions of co-ownership and equal contribution do not apply.
In Agapay, Miguel Palang and his paramour Erlinda Agapay bought a parcel of riceland in Pangasinan which
they registered in their names. However, because Agapay failed to prove that she contributed money to the
purchase price of the riceland, she could not rightfully claim co-ownership over the same.
Here, the records show only four properties acquired by Villanueva and Gonzales between 1927 and 1963
which they registered in both their names. Following Agapay, these can only be apportioned according to the
actual contributions of each. Unfortunately, the records are devoid of any evidence that Gonzales contributed
anything to the acquisition of these properties. Petitioners merely asserted that she acquired these properties
through her own industry without a shred of evidence to support the allegation. On the other hand, it was clearly
demonstrated that Villanueva was the municipal treasurer of Talavera for many years and therefore the lone
breadwinner. In accordance with Agapay, none of these four parcels of land should accrue to petitioners.
There is only one parcel of land registered solely in Gonzales' name, which was acquired between 1927 and
1963. This fact of registration created a conclusiveness of title in favor of the person in whose name it was
registered. In SD-857, although Villanueva sought to prove that he alone had purchased the properties and that
only he could have done so during the period of cohabitation (since he was the sole breadwinner), he never
actually challenged the validity of the registration in her name. Thus the efficacy of the title in Gonzales' name
remained unrebutted. As Gonzales' sole property, this should accrue entirely to her heirs.


G.R. No. 105625, January 24, 1994
The spouses Vicente Benitez and Isabel Chipongian owned various properties especially in Laguna. Isabel died
on April 25, 1982. Vicente followed her in the grave on November 13, 1989. He died intestate.
The fight for administration of Vicente's estate ensued. On September 24, 1990, private respondents Victoria
Benitez-Lirio and Feodor Benitez Aguilar (Vicente's sister and nephew, respectively) instituted Sp. Proc. No.
797 (90) before the RTC of San Pablo City, 4th Judicial Region, Br. 30. They prayed for the issuance of letters
of administration of Vicente's estate in favor of private respondent Aguilar. They alleged, inter alia, viz.:
The decedent is survived by no other heirs or relatives be they ascendants or descendants, whether legitimate,
illegitimate or legally adopted; despite claims or representation to the contrary, petitioners can well and truly
establish, given the chance to do so, that said decedent and his spouse Isabel Chipongian who predeceased
him, and whose estate had earlier been settled extra-judicial, were without ISSUE and/or without descendants
whatsoever, and that one Marissa Benitez-Badua who was raised and cared by them since childhood is, in fact,
not related to them by blood, nor legally adopted, and is therefore not a legal heir.
On November 2, 1990, petitioner opposed the petition. She alleged that she is the sole heir of the deceased
Vicente Benitez and capable of administering his estate. The parties further exchanged reply and rejoinder to
buttress their legal postures.
The trial court then received evidence on the ISSUE of petitioner's heirship to the estate of the deceased.
Petitioner tried to prove that she is the only legitimate child of the spouses Vicente Benitez and Isabel
On December 17, 1990, the trial court decided in favor of the petitioner. It dismissed the private respondents
petition for letters and administration and declared petitioner as the legitimate daughter and sole heir of the
spouses Vicente O. Benitez and Isabel Chipongian. The trial court relied on Articles 166 and 170 of the Family
Whether or not the petitioner is a legally adopted child of the deceased spouses Benitez
No. The Court are constrained to say that appellee's evidence is utterly insufficient to establish her biological
and blood kinship with the aforesaid spouses, while the evidence on record is strong and convincing that she is
not, but that said couple being childless and desirous as they were of having a child, the late Vicente O. Benitez
took Marissa from somewhere while still a baby, and without he and his wife's legally adopting her treated,
cared for, reared, considered, and loved her as their own true child, giving her the status as not so, such that
she herself had believed that she was really their daughter and entitled to inherit from them as such.
The mere registration of a child in his or her birth certificate as the child of the supposed parents is not a valid
adoption, does not confer upon the child the status of an adopted child and the legal rights of such child, and
even amounts of simulation of the child's birth or falsification of his or her birth certificate, which is a public
The Supreme Court says odd and strange, for if Marissa Benitez is really the daughter of the spouses Vicente
O. Benitez and Isabel Chipongian, it would not have been necessary for Isabel to write and plead for the
foregoing requests to her husband, since Marissa would be their legal heir by operation of law. Obviously,

Isabel Chipongian had to implore and supplicate her husband to give appellee although without any legal
papers her properties when she dies, and likewise for her husband to give Marissa the properties that he would
inherit from her (Isabel), since she well knew that Marissa is not truly their daughter and could not be their legal
heir unless her (Isabel's) husband makes her so.


G.R. No. 138493

June 15, 2000

Presentacion B. Catotal filed with the Regional Trial Court of Lanao del Node, Branch II, Iligan City, a petition
for the cancellation of the entry of birth of Teofista Babiera.
From the petition filed, Presentacion asserted "that she is the only surviving child of the late spouses Eugenio
Babiera and Hermogena Cariosa, who died on May 26, 1996 and July 6, 1990 respectively; that on
September 20, 1996 a baby girl was delivered by "hilot" in the house of spouses Eugenio and Hermogena
Babiera and without the knowledge of said spouses, Flora Guinto, the mother of the child and a housemaid of
spouses Eugenio and Hermogena Babiera, caused the registration/recording of the facts of birth of her child, by
simulating that she was the child of the spouses Eugenio, then 65 years old and Hermogena, then 54 years old,
and made Hermogena Babiera appear as the mother by forging her signature . . .; that petitioner, then 15 years
old, saw with her own eyes and personally witnessed Flora Guinto give birth to Teofista Guinto, in their house,
assisted by "hilot"; that the birth certificate . . . of Teofista Guinto is void ab initio, as it was totally a simulated
birth, signature of informant forged, and it contained false entries, to wit: a) The child is made to appear as the
legitimate child of the late spouses Eugenio Babiera and Hermogena Cariosa, when she is not; b) The
signature of Hermogena Cariosa, the mother, is falsified/forged. She was not the informant; c) The family
name BABIERA is false and unlawful and her correct family name is GUINTO, her mother being single; d) Her
real mother was Flora Guinto and her status, an illegitimate child; The natural father, the carpenter, did not sign
it; that the respondent Teofista Barbiera's birth certificate is void ab initio, and it is patently a simulation of birth,
since it is clinically and medically impossible for the supposed parents to bear a child in 1956 because: a)
Hermogena Cariosa Babiera, was already 54 years old; b) Hermogena's last child birth was in the year 1941,
the year petitioner was born; c) Eugenio was already 65 years old, that the void and simulated birth certificate
of Teofista Guinto would affect the hereditary rights of petitioner who inherited the estate of cancelled and
declared void and theretofore she prays that after publication, notice and hearing, judgment [be] render[ed]
declaring . . . the certificate of birth of respondent Teofista Guinto as declared void, invalid and ineffective and
ordering the respondent local civil registrar of Iligan to cancel from the registry of live birth of Iligan City BIRTH
CERTIFICATE recorded as Registry No. 16035.
TEOFISTA filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that "the petition states no cause of action, it being an
attack on the legitimacy of the respondent as the child of the spouses Eugenio Babiera and Hermogena
Cariosa Babiera; that plaintiff has no legal capacity to file the instant petition pursuant to Article 171 of the
Family Code; and finally that the instant petition is barred by prescription in accordance with Article 170 of the
Family Code." The trial court denied the motion to dismiss.
Whether or not a certificate of live birth is sufficient to establish the legitimacy of a child regardless of the fact
that the same is obtained by fraud or that it contained some irregularities
No. The present case alleges and shows that Hermogena did not give birth to petitioner. In other words, the
prayer herein is not to declare that petitioner is an illegitimate child of Hermogena, but to establish that the
former is not the latter's child at all. Verily, the present action does not impugn petitioner's filiation to Spouses
Eugenio and Hermogena Babiera, because there is no blood relation to impugn in the first place.
While it is true that an official document such as petitioner's Birth Certificate enjoys the presumption of
regularity, the specific facts attendant in the case at bar, as well as the totality of the evidence presented during
trial, sufficiently negate such presumption. First, there were already irregularities regarding the Birth Certificate

itself. It was not signed by the local civil registrar. More important, the Court of Appeals observed that the
mother's signature therein was different from her signatures in other documents presented during the trial.
The circumstances surrounding the birth of petitioner show that Hermogena is not the former's real mother. For
one, there is no evidence of Hermogena's pregnancy, such as medical records and doctor's prescriptions, other
than the Birth Certificate itself. In fact, no witness was presented to attest to the pregnancy of Hermogena
during that time. Moreover, at the time of her supposed birth, Hermogena was already 54 years old. Even if it
were possible for her to have given birth at such a late age, it was highly suspicious that she did so in her own
home, when her advanced age necessitated proper medical care normally available only in a hospital.
The most significant piece of evidence, however, is the deposition of Hermogena Babiera which states that she
did not give birth to petitioner, and that the latter was neither hers nor her husband Eugenio's.


GR Nos. 89224-25 January 23, 1992

Eleno and Rafaela Sayson begot five children, namely, Mauricio, Rosario, Basilisa, Remedios and Teodoro.
Eleno died on November 10, 1952, and Rafaela on May 15,1976. Teodoro, who had married Isabel Bautista,
died on March 23, 1972. His wife died nine years later. Their properties were left in the possession of Delia,
Edmundo, and Doribel, all surnamed Sayson, who claim to be their children.
Mauricio, Rosario, Basilisa, and Remedios, together with Juana C. Bautista, Isabel's mother, filed a complaint
for partition and accounting of the intestate estate of Teodoro and Isabel Sayson. Delia, Edmundo and Doribel
filed their own complaint, this time for the accounting and partition of the intestate estate of Eleno and Rafaela
Sayson, against the couple's four surviving children.
Both cases filed on the Lower Court were decided in favor Delia, et al. on the basis of practically the same
evidence. The Lower Court declared that Delia and Edmundo were the legally adopted children of Teodoro and
Isabel Sayson by virtue of the decree of adoption. Doribel was their legitimate daughter as evidenced by her
birth certificate. Consequently, the three children were entitled to inherit from Eleno and Rafaela by right of
Both cases were appealed to the Court of Appeals, where they were consolidated. The appellate court affirmed
that Delia, et al. are entitled to the intestate estate of spouses Teodoro and Isabel Sayson. However, Delia and
Edmundo are disqualified from inheriting from the estate of the deceased spouses Eleno and Rafaela Sayson.
W/N CA is correct in holding that Delia and Edmundo are disqualified to inherit from the estate of the deceased
spouses Eleno and Rafaela Sayson.
A different conclusion must be reached in the case of Delia and Edmundo, to whom the grandparents were total
strangers. While it is true that the adopted child shall be deemed to be a legitimate child and have the same
right as the latter, these rights do not include the right of representation. The relationship created by the
adoption is between only the adopting parents and the adopted child and does not extend to the blood relatives
of either party.
In sum, we agree with the lower courts that Delia and Edmundo as the adopted children and Doribel as the
legitimate daughter of Teodoro Sayson and Isabel Bautista, are their exclusive
heirs and are under no obligation to share the estate of their parents with the petitioners. The Court of Appeals
was correct, however, in holding that only Doribel has the right of representation in the inheritance of her
grandparents' intestate estate, the other private respondents being only the adoptive children of the deceased

In Re: Adoption of Stephanie Garcia

G.R. No. 148311 March 31, 2005

On August 31, 2000, Honorato B. Catindig, herein petitioner, filed a petition to adopt his minor illegitimate child
Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia. He alleged therein, among others, that Stephanie was born on June 26, 1994;
that her mother is Gemma Astorga Garcia; that Stephanie has been using her mothers middle name and
surname; and that he is now a widower and qualified to be her adopting parent. He prayed that Stephanies
middle name Astorga be changed to Garcia, her mothers surname, and that her surname Garcia be
changed to Catindig, his surname.
On March 23, 2001, the trial court rendered the assailed Decision granting the adoption.
Henceforth, Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia is hereby freed from all obligations of obedience and maintenance
with respect to her natural mother, and for civil purposes, shall henceforth be the petitioners legitimate child
and legal heir. Pursuant to Article 189 of the Family Code of the Philippines, the minor shall be known as
On April 20, 2001, petitioner filed a motion for clarification and/or reconsideration praying that Stephanie should
be allowed to use the surname of her natural mother (GARCIA) as her middle name.
Whether or not an illegitimate child, upon adoption by her natural father, use the surname of her natural mother
as her middle name
Yes. For all practical and legal purposes, a man's name is the designation by which he is known and called in
the community in which he lives and is best known. It is defined as the word or combination of words by which a
person is distinguished from other individuals and, also, as the label or appellation which he bears for the
convenience of the world at large addressing him, or in speaking of or dealing with him. It is both of personal as
well as public interest that every person must have a name.
The name of an individual has two parts: (1) the given or proper name and (2) the surname or family name. The
given or proper name is that which is given to the individual at birth or at baptism, to distinguish him from other
individuals. The surname or family name is that which identifies the family to which he belongs and is continued
from parent to child. The
given name may be freely selected by the parents for the child, but the surname to which the child is entitled is
fixed by law.
Thus, Articles 364 to 380 of the Civil Code provides the substantive rules which regulate the use of surname of
an individual whatever may be his status in life, i.e., whether he may be legitimate or illegitimate, an adopted
child, a married woman or a previously married woman, or a widow.
As correctly submitted by both parties, there is no law regulating the use of a middle name. Even Article 176 of
the Family Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 9255, otherwise known as An Act Allowing Illegitimate
Children To Use The Surname Of Their Father, is silent as to what middle name a child may use.
In the case of an adopted child, the law provides that the adopted shall bear the surname of the adopters.
Again, it is silent whether he can use a middle name. What it only expressly allows, as a matter of right and
obligation, is for the adoptee to bear the surname of the adopter, upon issuance of the decree of adoption.

One of the effects of adoption is that the adopted is deemed to be a legitimate child of the adopter for all intents
and purposes pursuant to Article 189 of the Family Code and Section 17 Article V of RA 8552.
Being a legitimate child by virtue of her adoption, it follows that Stephanie is entitled to all the rights provided by
law to a legitimate child without discrimination of any kind, including the right to bear the surname of her father
and her mother, as discussed above. This is consistent with the intention of the members of the Civil Code and
Family Law Committees as earlier discussed. In fact, it is a Filipino custom that the initial or surname of the
mother should immediately precede the surname of the father.
Additionally, as aptly stated by both parties, Stephanies continued use of her mothers surname (Garcia) as her
middle name will maintain her maternal lineage. It is to be noted that Article 189(3) of the Family Code and
Section 18, Article V of RA 8552 (law on adoption) provide that the adoptee remains an intestate heir of his/her
biological parent. Hence, Stephanie can well assert or claim her hereditary rights from her natural mother in the

Guardian ad litem of Minors, DARLENE, DANIEL JR., DUSSEL and DAISY GLEN, all surnamed
FRIANEZA respondents.

G.R. No. L-69679, 166 S 451, October 18, 1988

Petitioners Violeta Cabatbat Lim, her husband Liam Biak Chiao, and the Calasiao Bijon Factory assail the
decision dated October 25, 1984 of the Intermediate Appellate Court, now Court of Appeals (AC-G.R. No. CV
67055), which affirmed the trial court's decision finding that petitioner Violeta Cabatbat Lim is not the off-spring,
hence, not a legal heir of the late Esperanza Cabatbat.
The private respondents, sisters of the late Esperanza Frianeza-Cabatbat, filed a complaint in the Court of First
Instance of Pangasinan (Civil Case No. D-3841), praying for the partition of the estate of Esperanza Frianeza
Cabatbat, who died without issue on April 23, 1977. Part of her estate was her interest in the business
partnership known as Calasiao Bijon Factory, now in the possession of Violeta Cabatbat Lim who claims to be
the child of the spouses Esperanza and Proceso Cabatbat.
Esperanza Frianeza-Cabatbat was survived by her husband, Proceso Cabatbat, her sisters, Consorcia Maria,
Benedicta, Bonifacia, all surnamed Frianeza and the children of her deceased brothers Daniel and Domingo. In
their complaint, the private respondents alleged that Violeta Cabatbat Lim is not a child of Esperanza, but was
only a ward (ampon) of the spouses Esperanza and Proceso Cabatbat who sheltered and supported her from
childhood, without benefit of formal adoption proceedings.
Upon the evidence, the trial court held on August 10, 1979 that Violeta Cabatbat is not a child by nature of the
spouses Esperanza and Proceso Cabatbat and that hence, she is not a legal heir of the deceased Esperanza
Petitioners appealed to the Intermediate Appellate Court which affirmed the decision of the trial court on
October 25, 1984.
Whether or not the petitioner is legally adopted child of the deceased thus making her a compulsory heir of the
deceased, and the sole heir hereof
No. As the Court pronounced, this is very strange and odd because the Registry Book of admission of the
hospital does not show that Esperanza Frianeza was ever a patient on May 26, 1948. Indeed, Esperanza
Frianeza was never admitted in the hospital as an obstetrics case before or after May 26, 1948, that is from
December 1, 1947 to June 15, 1948.
On May 26, 1948, the day defendant Violeta Cabatbat was alleged to have been delivered by Esperanza
Frianeza in the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital, the records of the hospital show that only one woman by the
same of the Benita Lastimosa of Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, not Esperanza Frianeza, gave birth to an illegitimate child
who was named by her mother Benita Lastimosa as Baby Girl Lastimosa. Furthermore, the record of birth
certificates of Pangasinan Provincial Hospital for the years 1947 and 1948 does not carry the birth certificate of

defendant Violeta Cabatbat and the only birth certificate in the file of birth certificates of the hospital for May 26,
1948 is that of Baby Girl Lastimosa whose mother's name is Benita Lastimosa.
Furthermore, the absence of a record of the birth of petitioner Violeta Cabatbat in the Office of the Civil
Registrar General, puts a cloud on the genuineness of her Exhibit 5.
Petitioners' recourse to Article 263 of the New Civil Code is not well-taken. This legal provision refers to an
action to impugn legitimacy. It is inapplicable to this case because this is not an action to impugn the legitimacy
of a child, but an action of the private respondents to claim their inheritance as legal heirs of their childless
deceased aunt. They do not claim that petitioner Violeta Cabatbat Lim is an illegitimate child of the deceased,
but that she is not the decedent's child at all. Being neither a legally adopted child, nor an acknowledged
natural child, nor a child by legal fiction of Esperanza Cabatbat, Violeta is not a legal heir of the deceased.
WHEREFORE, the petition is denied for lack of merit. The appealed decision is affirmed, but with modification
of paragraphs 2 and 4 of the dispositive portion thereof, by excluding the widows Adela B. Vda. de Frianeza
and Decideria Q. Vda. de Frianeza, who are not legal heirs of Esperanza Frianeza Cabatbat from participating
with their children and the surviving sisters of the deceased in the one-fourth share of the estate pertaining to
the latter under Article 1001 of the Civil Code.

VICENTE B. TEOTICO, petitioner-appellant,

ANA DEL VAL, ETC., oppositor-appellant.

GR No. L18753, March 26, 1965

Maria Mortera died on July 1955 leaving properties worth P600,000. She executed a will written in Spanish,
affixed her signature and acknowledged before Notary Public by her and the witnesses. Among the legacies
made in the will was the P20,000 for Rene Teotico who was married to the testatrixs niece, Josefina Mortera.
The usufruct of Marias interest in the Calvo Building were left to the said spouses and the ownership thereof
was left in equal parts to her grandchildren, the legitimate children of said spouses. Josefina was likewise
instituted, as sole and universal heir to all the remainder of her properties not otherwise disposed by will.
Vicente Teotico filed a petition for the probate of the will but was opposed by Ana del Val Chan, claiming that
she was an adopted child of Francisca (deceased sister of Maria) and an acknowledged natural child of Jose
(deceased brother of Maria), that said will was not executed as required by law and that Maria as physically and
mentally incapable to execute the will at the time of its execution and was executed under duress, threat, or
influence of fear.
Whether or not defendant has right to intervene in this proceeding.
It is a well-settled rule that in order that a person may be allowed to intervene in a probate proceeding is that he
must have an interest in the estate, will or in the property to be affected by either as executor or as a claimant
of the estate and be benefited by such as an heir or one who has a claim against it as creditor. Under the terms
of the will, defendant has no right to intervene because she has no such interest in the estate either as heir,
executor or administrator because it did not appear therein any provision designating her as heir/ legatee in any
portion of the estate. She could have acquired such right if she was a legal heir of the deceased but she is not
under the CIVIL CODE. Even if her allegations were true, the law does not give her any right to succeed the
estate of the deceased sister of both Jose and Francisca because being an illegitimate child she is prohibited
by law from succeeding to the legitimate relatives of her natural father and that relationship established by
adoption is limited solely to the adopter and adopted and does not extend to the relatives of the adopting
parents except only as expressly provided by law. As a consequence, she is an heir of the adopter but not of
the relatives of the adopter.
Hence, defendant has no right to intervene either as testamentary or as legal heir in the probate proceeding.

Remedios NUGUID, petitioner and appellant,

Felix NUGUID and Paz Salonga NUGUID, oppositors and appellees.
G.R. No. L-23445, June 23, 1966
Rosario Nuguid, testator in the holographic will, died single and without descendants, legitimate or illegitimate.
Surviving her were her legitimate parents, Felix Nuguid and Paz Salonga Nuguid, and six brothers and sisters,
namely: Alfredo, Federico, Remedios, Conrado, Lourdes and Alberto, all surnamed Nuguid.
On May 18, 1963, Remedios Nuguid, sister of Rosario, filed in the Court of First Instance of Rizal a holographic
will allegedly executed by Rosario Nuguid on November 17, 1951, some 11 years before her death. The will
stated as follows:
Nov. 17, 1951
I, ROSARIO NUGUID, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, having amassed a certain amount of
property, do hereby give, devise, and bequeath all of the property which I may have when I die to my beloved
sister Remedios Nuguid, age 34, residing with me at 38-B Iriga, Q.C. In witness whereof, I have signed my
name this seventh day of November, nineteen hundred and fifty-one.
(Sgd.) Illegible
Remedios prayed that said will be admitted to probate and that letters of administration with the will annexed be
issued to her. This was opposed by the parents of Rosario, Felix and Paz.
The parents opposed on the ground of preterition. The CFI of Rizal decided in favor of the parents and declared
that there was indeed preterition of compulsory heirs.
Petitioner insists that the compulsory heirs were simply ineffectively disinherited and that they are entitled to
receive their legitimes, but that the institution of heir "is not invalidated," although the inheritance of the heir so
instituted is reduced to the extent of said legitimes.
May a part of the will, when preterition has been declared, be considered to still be valid with respect to the free
portion of the will?
No, preterition has an effect of completely nullifying the will. Article 854 of the Civil Code states that (T)he
preterition or omission of one, some, or all of the compulsory heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of
the execution of the will or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of heir; but the devises
and legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not inofficious.
The deceased Rosario Nuguid left no descendants, legitimate or illegitimate. But she left forced heirs in the
direct ascending line her parents. The will completely omits both of them. They thus received nothing by the
testament; tacitly, they were deprived of their legitime; neither were they expressly disinherited. This is a clear
case of preterition.
It cannot be gleaned in the will that any specific legacies or bequests are therein provided for. It is in this
posture that the Supreme Court held that the nullity is complete. Perforce, Rosario Nuguid died intestate.

Remedios claim that the will should only be nullified as to the part of the legitime and that she should thus be
considered a devisee or legatee is without merit. The law requires that the institution of devisees and legatees
must be expressly stated in the will. Such was not present.
Also, the omission of the parents in the will cannot be interpreted as a form of disinheritance as the law also
requires that, for disinheritance to be proper, the disinheritance should be clearly and expressly stated in the
will. Absent that, no inference of disinheritance may be had.

Lolita D. Enrico, petitioner

Heirs of Eulogio B. Medinaceli, respondents
G.R. No. 173614 September 28, 2007

Petitioner, Lolita D. Enrico, is the second wife of Eulogio Medinacili. They were married on August 24, 2004.
This marriage was celebrated 4 months after Eulogios first wife died on May 2004. On February, 2005, or six
months after his second marriage, Eulogio died.
The respondents are Eulogios heirs and seek a declaration of nullity of the marriage of Petitioner Lolita and
Eulogio on the ground that the marriage was celebrated without a valid marriage license. And that 5-year
cohabitation exception could not apply since Eulogio was a bachelor for only 4 months.
Petitioner answered the complaint and alleged that they have been living as husband and wife for 21 years as
in fact they had 2 children. Further, petitioner contended that it is only the contracting parties while living can file
an action for declaration of nullity of their marriage.
RTC dismissed the complaint but on reconsideration reinstated the case. Petitioner Enrico directly filed for Rule
65 in the SC.
Do the heirs have standing to file the action for the declaration of nullity.
No. SC grants the petition and dismisses the petition for declaration of nullity filed by the heirs.
First, Void marriages solemnized under the Family Code are governed by the A.M. 02-11-10 of the SC, that is,
marriages entered into on and after August 3, 1988. The A.M. of the SC provides that a petition for declaration
of absolute nullity of void marriage may be filed solely by the husband or the wife. It is clear. Thus, the heirs
have no standing. Case Dismissed!
Second, as to the Ninal v. Badayog ruling that allows heirs to file a petition for declaration of nullity, this applies
only to those marriages under the Civil Code.
What is the remedy now of the heirs? Remember that a void marriage can be collaterally attacked; hence since
they only seek to protect their property rights they can always impugn the legitimacy of the marriage of
petitioner and their father in the proceeding for the settlement of the estate of their deceased father.
WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED. Civil Case No. II-4057 filed before the Regional Trial Court of Aparri,
Cagayan, Branch 6, is ORDERED DISMISSED without prejudice to challenging the validity of the marriage of
Lolita D. Enrico to Eulogio B. Medinaceli in a proceeding for the settlement of the estate of the latter. No costs.



G.R. No. 167109, February 6, 2007

Felicitas Amor-Catalan married Orlando Catalan on June 1950 in Pangasinan. They migrated to the US and
became naturalized American citizens. They divorced in 1988.
Two (2) months after the divorce, Orlando married Merope in Pangasinan. Felicitas filed a petition for
declaration of nullity of marriage against Merope, contending that she had a subsisting marriage with Eusebio
Bristol. She also wanted damages, claiming that the marriage brought her embarrassment.
RTC ruled for Felicitas. It declared the Orlando-Merope marriage null and void for being bigamous and awarded
damaged to Felicitas. CA reversed.
Does Felicitas have standing to question the nullity of the Orlando-Merope marriage.
This issue may not be resolved without first determining whether Felicitas and Orlando had indeed become
naturalized American citizens and whether they had actually been divorced.
Other than allegations in the complaint, records are bereft of evidence to prove their naturalization. Felicitas
merely alleged in her complaint that they had acquired American citizenship and Orlando also only alleged their
divorce. A divorce obtained abroad by an alien may be recognized in our jurisdiction, provided such decree is
valid according to the national law of the foreigner. However, before it can be recognized by our courts, the
party pleading it must prove the divorce as a fact and demonstrate its conformity to the foreign law allowing it,
which must be proved considering that our courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws. Also, the kind of
divorce obtained is important, since there is an absolute divorce (vincula matrimonii) which severs the marital
ties, and a limited divorce (mensa et thoro), which leaves the bond in full force.
Under the NCC which is the law in force at the time Orlando and Merope were married, and even in the Family
Code, there is no specific provision as to who can file a petition to declare the nullity of marriage. Only a party
who can demonstrate "proper interest" can file the same. A petition to declare the nullity of marriage, like any
other actions, must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest and must be based on a
cause of action. Section 2(a) of The Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of
Voidable Marriages, which took effect on March 15, 2003, now provides that only the husband or the wife may
file a petition for declaration of absolute nullity.
Hence, a remand of the case to the trial court for reception of additional evidence is necessary to determine
whether respondent Orlando was granted a divorce decree and whether the foreign law which granted the
same allows or restricts remarriage. If it is proved that a valid divorce decree was obtained and the same did
not allow respondent
Orlandos remarriage, then the trial court should declare respondents marriage as bigamous and void ab initio
but reduce the amount of damages. On the contrary, if it is proved that a valid divorce decree was obtained
which allowed Orlando to remarry, then the trial court must dismiss the instant petition to declare nullity of
marriage on the ground that Felicitas lacks legal personality to file the same.

FE D. QUITA, petitioner,

G.R. No. 124862 December 22, 1998

Fe D. Quita, the petitioner, and Arturo T. Padlan, both Filipinos, were married in the Philippines on May 18,
1941. They got divorce in San Francisco on July 23,1954. Both of them remarried another person. Arturo
remarried Bladina Dandan,the respondent herewith. They were blessed with six children. On April 16,
1972,when Arturo died, the trial court was set to declared as to who will be the intestate heirs.
The trial court invoking Tenchavez vs Escano case held that the divorce acquired by the petitioner is not
recognized in our country. Private respondentstressed that the citizenship of petitioner was relevant in the light
of the ruling in Van Dorn v. Rommillo Jr that aliens who obtain divorce abroad are recognized in the Philippnes
provided they are valid according to their national law. The petitioner herself answered that she was an
American citizen since 1954. Through the hearing she also stated that Arturo was a Filipino at the time she
obtained the divorce.Implying the she was no longer a Filipino citizen. The Trial court disregarded
therespondents statement. The net hereditary estate was ordered in favor the Fe D. Quita and Ruperto, the
brother of Arturo. Blandina and the Padlan children moved for reconsideration.
On February 15, 1988 partial reconsideration was granted declaring the Padlan children, with the exception of
Alexis, entitled to one- half of the estate to the exclusion of Ruperto Padlan, and the other half to Fe Quita.
Private respondent was not declared an heir for her marriage to Arturo was declared void since it was
celebrated during the existence of his previous marriage to petitioner. Blandina and her children appeal to the
Court of Appeals that the case was decided without a hearing in violation of the Rules of Court.
(1) Whether or not Blandinas marriage to Arturo void ab initio.
(2) Whetheror not Fe D. Quita be declared the primary beneficiary as surviving spouse of Arturo.
No. The marriage of Blandina and Arturo is not void. The citizenship of Fe D. Quita at the time of their divorce
is relevant to this case. The divorce is valid here since she was already an alien at the time she obtained
divorce, and such is valid in their countrys national law. Thus, Fe D. Quita is no longer recognized as a wife of
Arturo. She cannot be the primary beneficiary or will be recognized as surviving spouse of Arturo.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The decision of respondent Court of Appeals ordering the remand of the
case to the court of origin for further proceedings and declaring null and void its decision holding petitioner Fe
D. Quita and Ruperto T. Padlan as intestate heirs is AFFIRMED. The order of the appellate court modifying its
previous decision by granting one-half (1/2) of the net hereditary estate to the Padlan children, namely, Claro,
Ricardo, Emmanuel, Zenaida and Yolanda, with the exception of Alexis, all surnamed Padlan, instead of
Arturo's brother Ruperto Padlan, is likewise AFFIRMED. The Court
However emphasizes that the reception of evidence by the trial court should be limited to the hereditary rights
of petitioner as the surviving spouse of Arturo Padlan.